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Identifying False & Misleading News

What can I do to detect false or misleading news?

  • Use the CAARP test- Currency, Authority, Accuracy, Relevance, and Purpose.
  • Check the claims in the article- can you find them repeated in a well-known & reliable source.
  • Look at the rest of the site. Are there ads & other sensational articles? Does the about section reveal a bias or intent to entertain?
  • Check the links in the article. Do they lead to reliable sources that verify the claims made in the original article?
  • Where did you find the article? From a Google search? Library website? Social media feed?

Tips for fact checking and avoiding fake news

1. When you open up a news article in your browser, open a second, empty tab.  Use that second window to look up claims, author credentials and organizations that you come across in the article.

2. Fake news spans across all kinds of media - printed and online articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, radio shows, even still images. 

3. As Mad-Eye Moody said in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, "Constant Vigilance!"  Always be ready to fact check.

4. Even the best researchers will be fooled once in a while.  If you find yourself fooled by a fake news story, use your experience as a learning tool.

Fact checking links

Other guides to help you evaluate


This guide is based on the Fake News guide from Indiana University East Campus Library. 

Please feel free to share this guide with others.  If you are a librarian, you are welcome to use this guide and its contents for your own purposes.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.